This week, Daniella Cocchia, the award-winning head chef at Osteria – located in the heart of the seaside town of North Berwick and one of the best Italian restaurants in Scotland – provides recipes for a pair of Italian classics: fresh ravioli with a light coulis and chocolate cake rings with vanilla mascarpone.
Ricotta Ravioli with Red Pepper and Basil coulis (serves 4)
For the pasta:
3 eggs 500g plain flour
For the filling:
150g parmesan 300g ricotta nutmeg parsley salt and pepper
For the coulis:
2 red peppers 1 shallot 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp double cream salt pesto
Pasta: Add all the ingredients to a mixer until it becomes dough. Alternatively, knead by hand then leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. Coulis: Cook the shallot on a medium heat with the oil in a pan until it has softened, then add the chopped peppers and a half cup of water. Turn heat to a minimum and cook until the peppers are soft. Blitz with a hand blender until smooth, then add in the cream and return to the heat, stirring continuously until the required density. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out until it is about 4mm thick. Filling: Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix, checking seasoning is correct. Make up the ravioli in any shape and size you desire and make sure the edges are brushed with egg and closed properly otherwise they will open when you cook them. Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water for 4-5 minutes, take out and place on top of the heated coulis and serve.
Little Chocolate Cake Rings with Vanilla Mascarpone (serves 4)
For the cake:
250g plain flour 80g caster sugar 50g bitter cocoa powder 50g softened butter 2 eggs 100mls milk 6g baking powder
For the vanilla mascarpone:
190g mascarpone 65g caster sugar 2 egg yolks 1 vanilla pod 225mls double cream
Cake: Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar then mix in one egg at a time.
Add flour, baking powder, milk and cocoa powder until the mixture is sticky. Place mixture into a piping bag and fill 8 ring moulds three quarters of the way full, ensuring they are buttered and floured first to prevent them from sticking. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Vanilla Mascarpone: Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Then add mascarpone. Whisk the cream until it is slightly thickened and then add to the mascarpone a little at a time until everything is incorporated. Once the chocolate cakes are ready, dust them with icing sugar and serve with a generous amount of the vanilla mascarpone.